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Friday 15 May 2009

Sarah McDermott | 16:45 UK time, Friday, 15 May 2009

Here are Gavin Esler and Kirsty Wark to tell you what's coming up tonight on Newsnight and Newsnight Review:

From Gavin Esler:

Quote for the Day: "If these expenses had not been leaked, would any of the party leaders have made a stand to clear up a corrupt system?" Entertainer Frank Skinner.

That was the week that was; a week of allegations that have shaken Parliament and to an extent damaged almost all those within it.

Heads have begun to roll - or have they? True, the Justice Minister Shahid Malik has resigned his job, and there have been one or two other casualties. But despite all the public anger, not a single MP has quit parliament or announced he or she will stand down at the next election.

Should they? We're planning to debate tonight how to fix what has gone wrong, with two angry critics of MPs, the Mayor of Middlesborough (once called by the tabloids Robo-Cop) Ray Mallon, and the disc jockey Emma B.

Plus we've a special report on Barack Obama's big gamble in Afghanistan - can a troop surge work there, as it appears to have done in Iraq?

From Kirsty Wark:

Then on Newsnight Review with David Aaronovitch, Kate Mosse and Mark Kermode we explore how drama can illuminate and possibly influence the unglamorous and uncomfortable subject of neglected and abused children.

Golden Globe-winning and twice Oscar-nominated actress Samantha Morton makes her directorial debut with The Unloved, a drama for Channel 4, loosely based on her own experiences of a childhood in and out of foster families and care homes in Nottingham.

Eleven-year-old Lucy, played by Molly Windsor, is cut adrift in the care system after a brutal beating by her father, played by Robert Carlyle. She witnesses abuse in the care home - the care home manager sexually abuses her roommate, and she frequently absconds to walk the streets of the city, silently, for hours and hours.

Samantha Morton's deliberately pared down style - the slow pace and simple static shots - force the audience to engage with Lucy's inner torment.

And there is torment on stage in Monsters, a new Swedish play which has its British premiere in English this week at the Arcola Theatre in London. The play takes us back to the brutal killing of two-year-old James Bulger by the two boys Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, and has been criticised by both the Bulger family and victim support groups.

Four adult actors on stage take on a variety of roles based mainly on the transcripts of the interrogation of the two boys, and the actors ask the audience to consider the role of the 38 witnesses who saw the boys leading James Bulger away, but did nothing.

Then we'll be delving into Dan Brown's follow up to the critically panned and commercially phenomenal The Da Vinci Code. Such was the Vatican's ire at that film that for Angels and Demons, director Ron Howard couldn't film there, and had to recreate The Vatican in Los Angeles.

Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks is building a franchise a la Harrison Ford...) is on the trail of another Catholic sect -the Illuminati - who are concerned about the growing influence of science on religion. When the pope dies they kidnap four cardinals... and then it gets scary.

And we hope we'll have time to discuss the new work of the Canadian poet Ann Michaels who won the Orange Prize in 1997. She has written her long awaited second novel The Winter Vault which returns to familiar territory of love and loss.

She intertwines two events - the building of the Aswan Dam in Egypt and the flooding of the St Lawrence Seaway in Canada - as seen through the eyes of an engineer and his fragile botanist wife, whose own relationship becomes engulfed, as communities in Egypt and Canada became engulfed by the water...

I hope you'll be watching.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    TIn Ewell's report on immigration in last night's programme was- within the format of the show - balanced and constructive but does NN have the courage, albeit proven as unnecessarily 'mellowed', to deal with the other aspects of immigration that the BBC repeatedly chooses to sidestep i.e. unlawful, unwanted and and invalid migration. One would hope so as the 'issue' is unlikely to go away.

    The discussion that followed had the potential to raise serious matters of debate but disintegrated as usual into the oft repeated banal arguments! Of course it didn't help to have the pointless minutes wasted on the "Song Contest" blither!

    Strangely I always respected NN for being news of the night .......... Oh well!

    Maybe the good times will come again and NN will regain it's reputation in my eyes for investigating and reporting the news.

  • Comment number 2.

    "We're planning to debate tonight how to fix what has gone wrong..."
    OK, how about:

    1. Getting all MPs, MEPs, Civil servants, council employees etc etc to start to appreciate that the money they spend could have come from the tax paid by a pensioner, or a nurse or a soldier. Get them to question whether every penny spent is a justified way of spending what was other people's money.

    2. Introduce alternative monetary rewards that have no room for inventive accounting.
    E.G.
    MP Annual Salary = 3 times the National Average
    Ministers = 4 times.
    MPs over 45 mins public transport away to have fixed scaled allowance to cover travel plus a fixed daily allowance for board and lodge in London (when practical, Westminster owned appartments to be used)
    All travel to be reimbursed at standard rates on production of receipts. Taxis to be allowed outside 9-5 working day.
    Staffing: fixed at a PA plus researcher, employed by Westminster at 'local' salary levels.
    Office running expenses to be payable at one third the Nat Avr salary per year - no receipts.
    Pension as now.
    No second jobs allowed.
    No other monies forthcoming.

    ALSO, it is important to get MPs to experience real world economies:
    A ministerial car pool for cabinet members only.
    Termination allowance scrapped.
    All 'grace and favour' homes, excluding Chequers and Downing Street, to be sold.
    All Westminster perks to end.
    No reimbursed travel for family members unless spouses accompanying on official business.

    AND
    For ALL civil servants:
    All travel to be reimbursed at standard rates on production of receipts. Taxis to be allowed outside 9-5 working day.
    No refreshment funding for meetings etc.

  • Comment number 3.

    Emma B and Robo-cop .... your not selling it to me really ..... might give it a miss tonight.

  • Comment number 4.

    WHY NOW?

    "Heads have begun to roll - or have they? True, the Justice Minister Shahid Malik has resigned his job, and there have been one or two other casualties. But despite all the public anger, not a single MP has quit parliament or announced he or she will stand down at the next election."

    "Labour minister Shahid Malik claimed the most at £185,421. Tory MP Philip Hollobone claimed the least - £44,551.

    Nick Harvey MP, who is on the members' estimate committee, said taxpayers got "excellent value for money".

    The previous year's total came to £86.8m, but was inflated by the general election as "winding up" payments were made to departing MPs. On a like-for-like basis, the increase amounts to about 5%.

    High spender

    ...Gordon Brown, Tory leader David Cameron ...And.. Sir Menzies Campbell's claims were all around the average - at £135,525, £143,385 and £142,810 respectively....

    The highest-spender, Mr Malik - who represents a constituency in West Yorkshire - spent more than £21,000 on postage alone. Fellow minister Liam Byrne was the next highest spender at £178,116."


    MPs' £87.6m expenses claim bill.
    BBC NEWS 25 October 2007





  • Comment number 5.

    As to re-instating the dignity of the "Mother of all Parliaments" simply .......

    Compulsory Voting for all Local & National Elections!

    Period!

  • Comment number 6.

    My sincere answer to the valid question by David Skinner is, with this corrupt lot, certainly would not have unearthed at all.

  • Comment number 7.

    5 JAPerson.
    Compulsory voting should only be considered if a 'None of the above' box is added to all voting papers.
    Otherwise the only course of action open to say, a Liberal voter that has no candidate standing, is to spoil the paper.
    As to "re-instating the dignity" - care to enlighten us how forcing people to vote for one of today's motley crew would achieve that.

  • Comment number 8.

    MEANWHILE, BELOW MOST PEOPLE'S RADAR: THE OTHER BUBBLE

    In the UK, 30,000 went into HE in the 1960s (5% of cohort), 300,000 today (50% of cohort). Student loans are good business. This bubble is far more pernicious for reasons I've given before - it changes the genetic composition of the population, dysgenically - even faster.

  • Comment number 9.

    Our MPs serve and protect our interests and do so because we elect them, we empower them to obey the rules which as I understand the vast majority have. If the allowance is there to be claimed,who casters of all theses stones, would not feel led to do so. If the rules are wrong, change them don't blame the players. Tabloids eh!!

  • Comment number 10.

    this isn't a failure of democracy but a success. No journalists have been arrested and flung in jail, no offices ransacked or presses smashed and the judges have not made it illegal to print the stuff. So actually the fact all this couldn't be hidden and suppressed tells me that in this regard society is working.

    what was tony's speech after 9/11 "This is a moment to seize"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z03T_VwNni0

    isn't half the problem we don't have anyone who can articulte the situation? The speaker just flips [not houses you understand], Brown growls n mumbles about process and Cameron sounds like he's a toff talking down to grouse beaters.

  • Comment number 11.

    Robocop and disc jockey Emma B? I think you might find them a bit intellectually challenging. Wasn't Jordan free tonight?

  • Comment number 12.

    #8 Is this why Newsnight's dumbing down? To reach a 'wider' audience?

  • Comment number 13.

    why do we have to watch the arch apologist for the government Aaronovitch on yet another Newsnight review, he twists everything and makes me angry. He never addresses the real issue but skirts around looking for an escape hole for the government, last Tuesday morning he was on Nicky Campbells five live phone in and his views generated more hostile reaction to his inflammatory views over the expenses issue that I almost felt sorry for him so he may be trying to flog his book about conspiritary theories but I do not want to watch a man who just says things just to be 'controversial' I need a real debate based on truth and not listening to a man who is there to get governments off the hook

  • Comment number 14.

    The "none of the above" view on voting choices seems a rather smug, smartalecky, cynical suggestion and one which, if accepted onto the ballot paper, could easily lead to fascists getting control; not an option.

    I would rather listen to the views of Latka Gravas than those of the guests tonight, both on NN and Review, so it's late night backgammon and raki once again.

    "corrupt"; "vitiated by errors or alterations" - so, "I'm sorry I made a mistake on flipping my residences" is prima facie evidence of corruption?

    Why does Malik go and Blears and Darling stay? Is it just because Gordi grabbed his first available opportunity to get ahead of Cameron on the body count?

  • Comment number 15.

    "Then on Newsnight Review with David Aaronovitch, Kate Mosse and Mark Kermode we explore how drama can illuminate and possibly influence the unglamorous and uncomfortable subject of neglected and abused children."

    This won't be enlightening.

    I bet it's yet more environmentalist nonsense.

    If people really want fewer Child Protection cases and fewer burned out Social Workers etc, reduce the birth rate in the sector of the population least genetically equiped to have and bring up children, and instead of pondering why so many abused as children grow up to be abusers etc, just take on board the fact that most of them got their genes from their parents!

  • Comment number 16.

    kashibeyaz (#14) "The "none of the above" view on voting choices seems a rather smug, smartalecky, cynical suggestion and one which, if accepted onto the ballot paper, could easily lead to fascists getting control; not an option."

    Here'a a possible alternative:- perhaps the alternative is for you to stop being so "smug, smartalecky, cynical" and look more carefully into our 'vanilla politics' to see what's really being excluded - I'm suggesting it's Old Labour in favour of economic anarchism.

    The BNP is a red herring, i.e. a 'sink hole' party.

  • Comment number 17.

    Last week there was an outcry about Gurkhas. The Government was too mean about allowing them to settle though they were the first to let ANY settle. Previously Gurkhas were allowed in Hong Kong to which we generously allowed democracy before handing it back. This week the Government is too slack about immigration. Last month the government was wickedly wanting to examine emails - bad, and attended too little to the protection of data. This month other people's emails and personal details are all over the papers - good. There is concern about a 50p tax rate over £100,000 - terrible but 60p under the last Government - no comment. Huge amounts of tax are avoided offshore (even newspaper proprietors). Meanwhile every day the papers tell me members of the public are involved in fraud violence, theft, rape, paedophilia, violence, murder, binge drinking and making town centres very nasty places and the list continues. Social workers are attacked for not being able to sort out problems created by ourselves in many cases and teachers are blamed for not sorting out our children while our families fall apart. Perhaps the whole culture rather than particular groups is in need of a serious rethink or perhaps the electorate should be sacked and replaced. We can't go through the months like the Weakest Link or like ravening beasts permanently out for blood. We have been better than that - I think.

  • Comment number 18.

    Response to No. 7 by BillericayMicky.

    Valid observations.

    My logic as to compulsory voting .......

    I am no stats boffin but the proportion of the electorate that brought this motley lot to power - and installed the rest as, equally incompetent, stooges - is abysmally small and therefore is almost totally lacking in any valid claim as to representing the best interests of the public. In the main both houses have adopted a safe placatory, self satisfying, self protecting, and therefore self propagating approach to the issues that the people on the top deck of the bus actually put at the top of their list of things of importance. Contemporary MPs have - since 1979 at the very least - developed and maintained their own agenda for their own purposes, ( And gains - if you accept half of the allegations currently being made? [ IMO a lot of the charges currently being voiced are being waived around for political gain and therefore have scant validity! The column inches re Clare Short, whom I am not a fan of, being a good example!] )

    I would like to believe that if there were no option but to vote it might persuade the GB Public to take a greater, and consequently better informed, interest in politics which just might refocus the politicians and politics in general.

    As to None of the above ..... Surely that is as pointless as the statement from group of people that the media willingly trawls up stating variations of I wont vote! Surely, surely, surely the reason that we are in this maelstrom is because too many of the GBP are indifferent, apathetic and lethargic about the two houses, and the EU of course, and how they dictate for their own aims.

    Avoiding too much reliance on stats but would the percentage of spoilt papers not be the same with or without compulsory voting?

    Incidentally, this motley lot are better able to deal with the problems IMO than any of the other lot!

  • Comment number 19.

    How ironic to have Ray Mallon to be on criticising MPs' indulgence. As Mayor of Middlesbrough he has been coveting his own personal fiefdom since elected, and many regard him as a mini-dictator. Hardly someone to talk.

  • Comment number 20.

    Not keen on the idea of Emma B but I watched anyway.

    How can a DJ be so inarticulate? Every other word was you know and she just shouted everybody else down. PLEASE do not have her again. First Nancy Dell O'lio or whatever her name is, now this strident woman. Come on Newsnight - you are meant to be a serious political programme

  • Comment number 21.

    IT PAYS TO ADVERTISE (TO MAMMON-READY NINNIES) (#5)

    Government pays vast amounts to advertise itself to us. Parties sell their grandmother to fund election advertising. Then there are the suppliers of all manner of necessities such as: sofas and sensor-activated-smell-emitters; both vital to life. The reason for such activity is because we are all so easily manipulated by ADVERTISING.

    The above shows why universal suffrage (soon to start at 16?) is a mockery. Obama was elevated on the back of expensive advertising.
    As we have to pass a test to install a gas appliance, why not, also, to install a government? The first condensing boiler to bomb a foreign land, has yet to be documented. Might this be because it was installed by someone who understood a thing or two about heating?

    We need a 'Certificate of Voting Competence'. Better: we need to apply ourselves to the development of mature citizens (duly certificated) rather than 'Mammon-ready' ninnies, ripe for political manipulation.

  • Comment number 22.

    Compulsory voting - in other countries where this is in place the voter is not actually compelled to vote - they must attend the polling booth and have their name crossed off the list of voters. They are then free to cast a vaild vote or spoil their ballot paper or put it in the box blank or even draw a picture of 2 donkeys..........

    I am really unhappy that these cheating MPs vote on a Statutory Instrument each year to deny uprating of state pensions to pensioners living in some overseas countries whilst at the same time authorising uprating for pensioners living in the UK and pensioners living overseas in nearly 40 other countries around the world. It was bad enough when we thought MPs were honourable people who made poor decisions. Now we find they are dishonest people making poor decisions for no good reason.

  • Comment number 23.

    The MP's protestations are simply making things worse for themselves. Whatever they say, the way they have behaved makes them look as if they are greedy, fraudulent cheats. Whether what they have done is within the rules is of no interest to the public. We know what we have seen. They are squirming because they have been caught red-handed. They took a risk and were prepared to lose their integrity for some cash. The whole thing stinks and mass resignations or dismissals should be the order of the day.

  • Comment number 24.

    Stephen Fry was about right - people sometimes fiddle expenses, so what's new? What about the big issues in the world?
    But hang on a minute. It wouldn't be so bad, if Her Majesty's customs and the IR weren't continually inventing new ways to prevent Joe Public from claiming their expenses. Remember mileage payments? - reduced and/or frozen for 5 or more years. What about IR35 for contractors, allowed 5% of turnover as expenses? Or Section 660 for married couples sharing their tax allowances? Or being a day late with tax payments (guilty unless proved innocent). Small beer that prudent Gordon has directed the state to doggedly clamp down on in recent years, rather than the really big tax dodgers in the city. One wishes he were so tenacious in his own back yard. It's not the piddling, petty pilfering that MP's are up to that rankles, it's the double standards, the utter hypocrisy and the vindictiveness with which the state pursues the man on the Clapham Omnibus.

  • Comment number 25.

    As someone who works in the care system I felt a weary deja vu about the hand wringing over the failings depicted in Samantha Morton's film. And yet again the Scandinavians were praised for their one to one care mentoring. Fine. If we want that then let's do it - and have Scandinavian levels of taxation too. But you really can't have one without the other. 45% plus basic tax in Sweden, 40-60% in Denmark.

  • Comment number 26.

    barrie (#21) "The above shows why universal suffrage (soon to start at 16?) is a mockery."

    The rot started with Disraeli and his subversive Reform Act.

  • Comment number 27.

    sillydix (#25) The paradox confronting most people in the care system/helping professions is that they mistakenly believe that they can change people despite the empirical evidence that they can not. These professionals are, today, overwhelmingly female. Why? When confronted with the evidence, the responses tend to be defensively emotional, not rational. This drives the more able people out, or prevents them from ever pursuing these careers. Newsnight Review coverage (or more accurately, lack of coverage) of these issues does not help.

    To change people one has to literally change people. The best those in the caring/helping professions appear to be able to do is to reduce the harm which those at risk expose themselves, and others, to.

  • Comment number 28.

    I agree with a previous post about having 'frivolous' women on NN, they should not be allowed, they do not fall into the catagory of bimboism, they are not attractive, they bore for Britain and they actually think that they are important. They should be made to stand in a corner for a very long time saying to themselves over and over...'I really must shut the .... up' Emma B is the product of our celeb obsessed society where all the knaves and fools are promoted to stop us investigating the politicians. Why do all the ninconpoops and illiterates shout all the time.

  • Comment number 29.

    HISTORY TEACHING REFORMED - THANKS JJ (#26)

    Why did we not have 10 word history lessons when I was at school?
    So the ninnies rioted to be put in a position where the politicians could manipulate their voting to party-political advantage! The words Petard and hoist spring to mind.

    I return to my constant theme: we need to maximise maturity (awareness, philosophy) in the individual and then have would-be voters pass a competence exam.

    Anyway - thanks for the help with my (somewhat delayed) homework. All I remember is Canadian grain exports and the siege at Sarratoga. The latter because it is so beautifully alliterative, and the teacher was a Yorkshireman wih rolled 'Rs'.

  • Comment number 30.

    barrie (#29) Might it be that most teachers behave as if they don't know much about behaviour, teaching or the nature of 'learning'?

  • Comment number 31.

    nos15 nos25

    Didn't see NN last night but I like Samantha Morton who in JJ's world probably wouldn't exist along with loads of other artists I could mention.

    Not more taxation, fair distribution of it is more like. The fact of the matter is the care system is a no care system, the ruling middle class don't care they only care about themselves as we see spectacularly through the work of Heather Brooke and fear of the democratic vote. So we have the BBC and Arts Council et all feudal monster black holes sucking up tax payers money and dishing it out to chosen *presenters*
    "artists" and potty projects that went wrong because they are so insular to their own class.


    C M

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyoHb2eEgaA&feature=related

    THELONIOUS MONK - probably wouldn't have existed in JJ's world.




  • Comment number 32.

    streetphotobeing (#31 Here's the basic problem. If we keep breeding ever larger numbers of people who are at greater risk of abusing others, we end up with more violent crime, more poverty, more disease, less infrastructure etc.

    This is a matter of differential fertility and population management, i.e not encouraging people to have more children than they can afford/cope with. Differential fertility refers to the empirical finding that statistically, more able people have less progeny than less able people. Note that much of our behaviour is genetic and inherited.

    So, tell us, why would you or anytone else want a society which slowly destroys itself through inceased crime and child abuse? I think you just don't understand what I am saying and what the evidence shows. I don't think you do want such a society. But, and note this carefully, there are those who wish it upon their enemies as it weakens the opposition, and that's something worth thinking about.

    It doesn't surpise me that Tam Dalyell is being picked on, does it you?

  • Comment number 33.

    THE WORD OF THE LORD (#32 link)

    "Tony Blair is his own man." (Lord Janner 2003)

    "I thought that Blair was very sympathetic to them. I CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY," Mr Dalyell said.

    It would appear that Westminster rots psychological nous as well as morality. As any fule should kno, Blair imbibed Christianity in his mother's milk and Christianity trails Judaism in its wake, as surely as 'New' follows 'Old'. Being troubled and susceptible, poor Little Boy Blair has, I suspect, as one of his terrible certainties, the idea that the Jews REALLY ARE GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE (regardless of the glaring non-sequiturs accessible to a rational mind).

    Once again, we are confronted with proof that VERY deluded and dangerous individuals enter Westminster - some to gain high office and do desperate things in a never-ending effort to slay their demons. Tony Blair was NEVER his own man (he fell readily to Screwtape) and now Brown's demons are swarming. Just pause and consider what HE might do to out-tony Tony.

    DO have nightmares. They will be no match for the real thing, when it comes.


  • Comment number 34.

    ""Quote for the Day: "If these expenses had not been leaked, would any of the party leaders have made a stand to clear up a corrupt system?" Entertainer Frank Skinner."" NO, they fought, to a man, against the release of their expencese, and now, to coin a phrase, "And let's be very clear about this", we can all see exactly why. Had there not been an audit, this misuse and abuse of our money would have continued unchecked. There should now be an audit of MEP's expences. On Newsnight a few weeks ago an MEP admitted that an MEP could become a millionaire within two years at this post. Who is checking their expences, nobody.

  • Comment number 35.

    Mr Dalyell MP - posh book case to take the weight of parliamentary debates via the tax payers dosh and he's relaxed about it - ironic symbol for the lot of um who got lost in a hot pot plot.

    NN will any of these lot be visiting the pokey, like hear more on the legal front.

    Ask those who have been in care [Ive done it through the years] and they will tell you that *no one cares* when you have no mum or dad that's very tough indeed. The middle classes who have never known it just don't get it, they think they do but they don't.

    What you hear then is: *no one cares so why should I* = a criminal in the making.

  • Comment number 36.

    Addendum (#32) Re: expenses fingering: or him for that matter.

    Anything on any of the 'Friends of Israel' crowd etc?

  • Comment number 37.

    streetphotobeing (#35) "What you hear then is: *no one cares so why should I* = a criminal in the making."

    It's probable that they just don't care.

    Caring is a class of behaviours emitted by people towards others (and secondarily, towards themselves), it isn't a consequence of others caring about them in the sense you imply. Criminogenic (and low-conscientious behaviour in general) is significantly genetic. Rehabilitation doesn't work, and criminogenic risk can be identified in very early years behaviour.

  • Comment number 38.

    Brown is promising sanctions - not good enough.

    The arrogance and deceit of MPs in blaming the system is stunning

    The system was not at fault - it just said they could claim for expenses incurred because they had to live away from home.

    It does not have rules that say "So, go buy a 2000 pound TV, and get your moat and swimming pool scrubbed. And how about all those trees that need pruning?"

    MPs just used it to grab what ever they could - because that is the sort of people they are.

    Now the three main leaders are cheating the citizen more by forgiving if people pay back. Not Good Enough.

    ALL MPs who are exposed as milking the system should stand down now - we dont want them and it is the ONLY honourable thing to do.

    Then By-Elections should be held. NOT a general election as this is not about party politics and that would twist the issue. If there are 300 of them - fine. But we need 300 NEW people in.

    Quite honestly, when Alan Duncan stood their and blamed the system, I felt like he was spitting in my face.

  • Comment number 39.

    This chatter on expenses is becoming too hysterical; we all know what needs to be done; publish receipts as generated on the web; they did this in Scotland and quickly solved the problem; Cameron's asked for this, Clegg supports it, Gordi mumbles about committees and scrutiny; action is required and quickly, before the hysteria gets out of control and like Diane Abbott said, we'll find MPs hanging from lamp-posts.
    MPs are not all "guilty" - the ones taking the mickey need to be brought to book by their parties and if any have broken the law, be suitably dealt with. We must not forget that bigger things need dealing with, for example, when will the FSA's report on reforms of banking be actioned? When will we see HMG exerting pressure on banks to split retail and wholesale banking operations and start lending sensibly?
    Swine flu clearly wasn't a sufficiently prurient diversion for all the Madame Lafarges out there.

  • Comment number 40.

    #16; Sorry, I forgot that the Gene Genie is always right and everyone else is always wrong; what could be fairer than that?

    We will soon have to come to terms with the reality that we are not as "Great" as we like to think we are in this country and that to change (for the better) we'd better begin thinking and articulating just exactly what we want the future of this country to look like, rather than spending our time verbally assaulting - and no doubt worse to come - a bunch of venal politicians. Change the rules, vote them out at the next election and let's have some discussion on the big picture - but specifically excluding dysgenesis, along with baseball caps, shaven heads and trainers.
    BNP = fascists? Never thought we'd see you write that, Gene - but then maybe for you, fascism is a good thing?

  • Comment number 41.

    gurubear (#38) "MPs just used it to grab what ever they could - because that is the sort of people they are."

    The real irony is that these are the people who collectively brought us a crashing economy and now have the public bailing out the banks and ultimately funding their PFI projects!

  • Comment number 42.

    kashibeyaz (#40) "Sorry, I forgot that the Gene Genie is always right and everyone else is always wrong; what could be fairer than that?"

    How about:- you grappling with the fact that you are fundamentally wrong and have an awful lot to learn?

    Is that even conceivable to you? ;-)

  • Comment number 43.

    NO MORE TO BE MOCKED BY THE CRASS

    Let's demolish The Palace Westminster, and leave it as a pile of rubble to warn all future generations not to reinstate bogus democracy under a meaningless monarchy.

    Then we must devise what Churchill - it seems - could not envisage: a viable form of democracy that has had the MOCK and the CRASS taken out of it.

    As for the current incumbents, bar them all. Put them on a Fool/Knave Register. Such people are a threat to good governance.

  • Comment number 44.

    Addendum (#42) 'No reward for failure!' ;-)

  • Comment number 45.

    barrie (#33) "...poor Little Boy Blair has, I suspect, as one of his terrible certainties, the idea that the Jews REALLY ARE GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE (regardless of the glaring non-sequiturs accessible to a rational mind)."

    A classic case of their believing their own publicity.

    Others have spotted this narcissisim:

    "The meeting with Netanyahu in Washington tomorrow will be the biggest test of Obamas negotiating skills on an issue that has tested so many of his White House predecessors. When Netanyahu, a hardline conservative, met President Bill Clinton more than a decade ago, Clinton said furiously: He thinks he is the superpower."

    The Sunday Times, 17th May 2009

    It's time that rationality banished idolatory/celebrity worship.

  • Comment number 46.

    My Personal Views -

    MP Expenses

    So we are being told that a constituency (the people) can not fire a MP until the political classes say so ?

    That situation is clearly wrong and unsustainable , it's the people who are the MP's employers , not the other ways around, MP's serve the constituency (the people).

    I wonder what would happen if a constituency held a by-election and elected another representative with a higher turnout (mandate) than the old MP was elected with ?

    What would a court decide ?
    Would they recognise the new representative as the peoples truly elected representative (MP) ?
    or
    Would they instruct that a official sanctioned by-election should be held ?
    or
    Would they say once you elect someone as your MP your stuck with them until they decide to re-seek the constituencies confidence again in a vote or until the Parliament finishes ?

    I say this because I have never heard of a piece of law explicitly stating a constituency can not fire their MP, if I am correct then any such case would be judged under common law principles (enabling a activist court maybe ?).

    Maybe NN can invite a barrister or two in to give some advice for communities in this matter , as barristers are normally too expensive for the normal folk to seek advise from.

    At the very least it would be a interesting insight into what the peoples legal relationship is with their MP.
    At the best it could help set a new legal principle that constituencies can sack their MP's when there is a collective will to do so, which to my mind would strengthen our democracy in this country.

    Just a thought.

  • Comment number 47.

    Steve-London (#46) Why not cut and paste (or more economically, just link to the message post time field/number) to Michael Crick's blog and Nick Robinson's? It would make for an interesting/informative Newsnight piece.

  • Comment number 48.

    OLD LABOUR FOR NEW... OLD LABOUR FOR NEW...

    Has the penny finally dropped?

    "Yet it is also, fundamentally, Old Labour. It would take the railways back into public ownership. It rejects globalisation. It believes in strong trade unions and that as much of industry as possible should be owned by those who work in it. In these respects it reminds you that Oswald Mosley left the Labour Party in 1931 to form the party that ultimately became the British Union of Fascists because Labour had rejected his plan to defeat mass unemployment with a programme of public investment. It is no coincidence that campaign leaflets in white working-class areas describe the BNP as "the Labour Party your grandfathers voted for".

    A 'perfect storm' for the BNP to make gains in the European elections?
    The Telegaph 17th May 2009


    Will Old Labour have the sense to seize the opportunity?

  • Comment number 49.

    UNREPRESENTATIVE REPRESENTATION (#46)

    I raised the (democratic) need for an extra box on the next General Election voting slip: 'ABSTAIN' with my MP. He simply said no party supported it - made no attempt to ask the constituency.

    This is the democracy of party politics.

  • Comment number 50.

    ROSETTES DON'T FIDDLE THEIR ALLOWANCES

    At General Election, the majority of people vote for a ROSETTE stuck on some pathetic cipher of a 'rosette-stand'. Once these poor-in-spirit individuals are in the honey pot, they feel they have inherited the earth. (Don't fall in that trap.)

    Failure of the individual is predictable from their preparedness to be party fodder, rather than being people of substance.

    Lord Winston has shown what happens when children are tempted. This is no different.

    SPOIL PARTY GAMES. SEEK OUT LOCAL CANDIDATES OF INTEGRITY.

  • Comment number 51.

    barrie (#50) "Lord Winston has shown what happens when children are tempted. This is no different."

    But there you have gone and reinforced the 'rossette stand credit assignment problem', as Winston is just another 'celebrity' who is an all too eager beneficiary of the up side of the ad hominem (this is not his field, so why does he present?). This, I suggest, is why, in so-called totalitarian states, stringent controls were put in place to identify party members who exploited their offices. In the West, we all too readily accepted propaganda depicting instances of those named, shamed and punished by agents of the state, as evidence of tyranny, oppression and bad governance!

    All the time we lapped that up, people were geting richer and ever more corrupt, albeit 'legally'. By the 1980s it was de rigueur, by the late 1990s, anyone not on the game was deemed 'a loser'.

    It's going to take am awful lot to change this decadent culture and it won't be done without a very firm hand. How many people are ready for that?

  • Comment number 52.

    THE FIRM HAND OF MATURITY (#51)

    We can't keep meeting like this JJ, people will talk. Oh - hang on, no one else is here.

    As you know, I have concluded that The Ape Confused by Language remains immature throughout its life such that it cannot cope with the complexity of modern existence. We need a physical cataclysm, but while waiting, we need the control of which you speak.

    Britain is currently demonstrating what happens when juveniles get (some measure) of control. I propose attempting to raise a maximum number of individuals to maturity, on the premise that the MATURE need less control. (They are 'self-controlled'). If I understand you correctly, you wish to return to more control stemming from - in my terms - elevated juveniles. I cannot but regard this as a recipe for more of the same. I frequently cite Zimbardo. Does he fall outside your frame of reference?

    PS Winston drives me up the wall.


  • Comment number 53.

    Post Fifty 2 Hang on Barrie I'm floating about here, on n off
    However the 2 of you Lose me,IE at times you leave me in Space/lost in.

    (it dosnt stop me Divin in head/feet/foot/arse 1ST)
    one never loses the Habit of Dropping oneself In It (its how u get out of it that counts)MP's take note, You are all in It.

    Awaiting their latest scam/spin on Extraction from IT.
    sh

  • Comment number 54.

    46. At 02:29am on 17 May 2009, Steve-London

    Indeed. It's like being in some latter day remake of 'The Madness of King George' because the elite still seem allowed to sit on their hands despite knowing the whole edifice is completely barking. Yet it seems that 'we' can do sod all, save a sorry tilt at a voice every few years.

    Just watched the Andrew Marr Show, with various new mea-culpa'd types putting out their stalls.

    Other than Mariella Frostrup, rather missing the mood making a point on missing the public mood referring to an eco-issue citing when she was diving in Honduras.

    And it allowed me to distill a few thoughts about the sheer rottenness of 'the system'.

    Labour MP Kate Hoey made a heck of a lot of sense and resonated with my views... mostly.

    As did Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

    However, while the former spoke to me, and indeed for me on MP expenses, the EU and the Taliban, I have never heard such tripe about the UN and the situation on Sri Lanka. Talk about naive, with a misplaced faith in an entity that makes the EU seems well-run. A blissfully glossed over fact which rather put the previous common sense comments on Parliamentary reform by Mr. Clegg in another context.

    Who do I vote for, when mandates are claimed when I patently don't agree with some pretty major aspects. Will I also have to comprise and prioritise just to afford my proxy to someone.

    ps: on The Speaker, while the next, secret vote selection is a step forward that might be 'better', in light of events as a public voting individual I am not convinced, as it is obvious that even the most egregious abuses still see only the perpetrators overseeing and maybe, if pushed, changing their own system only when brought to the fore by other means. Not good enough.

  • Comment number 55.

    AND YET AND YET (#54)

    Kate Hoey was THERE. Complete - it would seem - with a competence above average. Did she not KNOW? If she knew, but let it ride - why? None of the obvious answers are pleasant to contemplate - would that be why Marr et al do not ask that question? For evil to triumph, 'even a woman' will serve, in doing nothing.

    Then there is 'Spring's Exciting Freshness' Clegg. He has paid back forty quid for phone calls. Why did Marr not pounce? Clegg, Shiny Boy Dave, and Incapability Brown are ALL posturing like mad - every utterance shouts: "Look at me showing more leadership than them". The actual ISSUE is of far less account to these desperate wannabes.

    Governance is halted outside reality, because of the WRONG KIND OF MP on the track; a track that might just take us to a better place - given the chance. The boil has burst (apologies for metaphor-mess) and the usual suspects intend to slap an invisible plaster on it as fast as possible, with most of the poison still inside. Witness 'what a' Charlie Faulkner (bosom buddy of Bomber Blair) VEHEMENTLY condemning dishonesty for personal gain. I bet he and Tony will have a chuckle over that one!

    Unless we lay waste to this WESTMINSTER CULTURE, and sterilise the medium of its flourishing, it will return as insidiously as any pathogen or garden weed. We MUST do 'thought-violence' to the whole ethos.

    I am so glad I have lived most of my life - and so guilty for bringing others into a decadent society on a degraded planet.



  • Comment number 56.

    BBC 'biased in favour of BNP' according to some. In fairness while I applauded the immigration piece the other night you could do with telling people what the BNP really stand for - they are not democratic, Hpost-Hitler Haw Haws, their views on the Holocaust etc.

    But I don't believe the BBC is biased it just has a difficult balancing act with freedom of speech, accuracy and other journalistic standards.

  • Comment number 57.

    #55 barriesingelton

    "Governance is halted outside reality, because of the WRONG KIND OF MP on the track"

    Meanwhile your R&D background informs you there is no climate change; you are against democracy and Hitler was a peace lover.He had excellent economic ideas. The third tower of 9/11 was demolished. Millions were not murdered in the Holocaust.

    What next - aliens have gathered on the far side of the moon and can only be stopped by a fascist BNP government?

    When these people talk of the RIGHT KIND of MP they mean rrrRIGHT! Way, way, way out there.

  • Comment number 58.

    The Politics Show, Martin Bell (rt hon) Right ON.

  • Comment number 59.

    Could Brown become the first Prime Minister to go into a general election with single digit polls?

    They are in free fall and we have not even gotten to the Iraq inquiry and McBride probably still has an interesting tale to tell about what happened on the email smear campaign. Internal factions are bickering.

    In an ideal world we would see the Tories and Lib Dems combine (minus the expenses dead wood) electorally for proportional representation.

    I would personally dream of a republic ; elected upper house; checks and balances.

    Probably there is not the time to get inter-party agreement

  • Comment number 60.

    #51 Jaded_Jean

    "It's going to take am awful lot to change this decadent culture and it won't be done without a very firm hand. How many people are ready for that?"

    In the real world that translates to you want an end to democracy in favour of the policies advocated by the "popular in pre-war Germany" Hitler.

    How many are ready for that?

    Very, very few and I suspect that of those that have been influenced by propaganda many are "soft" and will turn away from the far right quickly when they understand what it is really about.

    Meanwhile the rest will settle into the internal dogfighting that has always gone on in the BNP.

    Lets hope the BNP get exterminated at the elections.

  • Comment number 61.

    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

    "I frequently cite Zimbardo. Does he fall outside your frame of reference?"

    No, and this is an important question.

    The way I've responded to this elsewhere is by referencing 'Beyond Freedom and Dignity' and 'Walden II' (I would reference something else but this is not the place ;-), and by pointing to the mess which our Criminal Justice 'disposal' system got itself into by not properly following an extensively (applied) researched, model.

    This area is a sensitive barometer of how effective governance is (our education system close a close second). What has to be focused upon is a) contingencies controlling behaviour and b) the quality of recruitment, as custodians are there just to ensure that the contingencies are in place/enforced. These contingencies, in practice, are our laws/rules - but the language in which most of our laws/rules are written isn't up to the job, for reasons which I've gone into elsewhere. The science/technology of behaviour endeavours to take human decision making out of behaviour management.

    For what it's worth, what I say here is not based on theory ..... ;-).

  • Comment number 62.

    thegangofone (#60) "In the real world that translates to you want an end to democracy in favour of the policies advocated by the "popular in pre-war Germany" Hitler."

    In the UK, as a Parliamentary Democracy, MPs are supposed to be elected to serve in government and oversee Civil Service departments (which as the executive, implements polices through the machinery of the atate), and to contribute in the (adversarial) legislative process. What we have seen in recent decades is a weakening of the Civil Service/Public Sector in favour of economic anarchism. This makes representation of the people more and more of a sham as more and more of the state is sold off/undermined.

    You really don't understand what has been going on, and you won't be told either.

    This is what reduces the value of your posts.

  • Comment number 63.

    Post 60 Be Carefull what you Hope For.

    Last Year I watched A DocumenTry in which A young Black Man in his mid twentys with A young family Said On Camera, He was Considering Voting for the BNP. (this man was no Idiot)

    What does that tell you, What does that tell me
    What does that tell you and me about our Political System

  • Comment number 64.

    #47

    Hi Jean

    Those forums are so bloated, when I read them I skip over tens of posts at a time to try and get to the end of them.
    Besides I would have to try a monitor two or three forums then , not sure I got the time to do so.

    Your welcome to take whatever I have written and run with the idea on other forums as you see fit , as I later explain in this post these are not my ideas.

    #49

    Hi Barrie

    I understand the idea of "None of the Above" option on the ballot paper , that I feel would need political agreement between MP's and a law change, that's why I did not make that line of argument.

    But I would be in agreement for the idea of "None of the Above" option if it ever became mandatory to vote in elections.Until then abstentions from the vote should be seen as a "None of the above option" in my view.

    #54
    Hi Junkk

    It funny you make a historical reference in you post , I in mine was quoting some of John Locke ideas from the 1680's. Particularly this

    "....But if they have set limits to the duration of their legislative, and made this supreme power in any person or assembly only temporary; or else when, by the miscarriages of those in authority, it is forfeited; upon the forfeiture of their rulers, or at the determination of the time set, it reverts to the society, and the people have a right to act as supreme, and continue the legislative in themselves or place it in a new form, or new hands, as they think good.
    Part of his conclusions in his Two Treatises of Government writings.

    I should point out that republicans like his work and try and claim it solely for their argument , but from what I have read so far (only a few of his works) he was more concerned with the right of the people to be ruled by consent , rather than one system or an other. Well that my impression so far, others might not agree.

    As for the Andrew Mar show I haven't looked at it yet , it's next on my todo list.
  • Comment number 65.

    "Lets hope the BNP get exterminated at the elections"
    Thats a bit strong go1...'exterminated'..! have you been watching Dr who?

    You always single out the Nazis and the BNP. Evil has always manifested from man. Native Americans, the Abos in Australia, the killing tribes in Rwanda even made Hitlers killing machine appear second rate in comparison, and all they had were machetes. Schools teach the holocaust but give very little mention to stalins tyranny - 35+million deaths - but the impression is given that only the Jew suffered in the last century. Hollywood have made a fortune over the years milking the holocaust.

    Maybe you should be less selective when reading history and try and have a better understanding of the human condition. Hopefully you will learn that multi-ethnic societies are always problematic and nearly always leading to conflict or one lording it over another. Watch 24 hr news and you can see that been played out daily.
    As for the rise in the BNP, they are responding and offering to a disaffected electorate who feel their concerns are not - and never have -been listened to. A counter weight to a liberial governing elite who have not just ignored the many legitimate concerns but exacerbated the problem with more immigrants/cultures allowed to reside on an ever decreasing Island. From this you find the inevitable response certainly from some of the electorate; in this case a swing to far right sentiment and politics. And the blame for that is liberalism ran rampant for way too long, with no understanding of the human condition or lacking basic historical knowledge and thinking that the 'brotherhood of man, will always prevail...its a foolish naive belief.

  • Comment number 66.

    #47 #49 #54
    Jean/Barrie/Junkk

    As you might have concluded by my #64 post , I had not seen any news or the Andrew Mar show today , therefore I apologize if I posted a confused , out of context reply to your comments.
    I'll do my home work first before I jump in next time :)


    My Personal Views -

    Now I have seen the Andrew Mar show , I still think the political elite are trying to confuse the public , what Act of Parliament are they talking about that denies a constituency getting rid of their MP ? What's it called , when was it passed ?
    Surly any interviewer should be asking these questions ?

    If my understanding of the law is correct , if there is not a specific law from Parliament on a certain matter, any court of law has to then judge matters coming before it against common law. This current situation is clearly about Good Governance of which I would suspect there are plenty of examples in common law case history for a court of law to take note of and maybe improve upon in any ruling it makes.

    Politics -

    Nick Clegg , what a spin mister , on Europe his party 2005 manifesto said they would give a referendum on the Euro Treaty , then when it came before them they whipped their MP's to abstain from voting for a referendum and their party in the House of Lords actively voted against giving the referendum , and they wonder why voters don't trust politicians , amazing !

    His reasoning for a EU political Union (which we are currently getting) are also flawed. If we have control over our borders , the small percentage of criminals (totally EU population is 470 million)from the rest of the EU would not have been allowed in to the country and if they had committed crimes here would of been ejected back to where they had came.

    The Euro question , he said the debate would come back. What a laugh , is this not we see happening in Ireland over the Lisbon Treaty rejection ? They will keep asking the question time and time again until they get their way.

    The fear of the BNP -

    Yes I would not like to see them increase their vote , but if the Lib Dems get their way on bring in Proportional Representation system in the UK you are more likely to get BNP MP's elected to Westminster , specially if the ruling party are bring in positive discrimination, instead of everyone being treated equally regardless of their skin tone.
    As for the BNP vote during the European Union Elections , the only polls I have seen puts them on 4% , but because the European Union Elections use Proportional Representation system a party with such a small percentage of a vote might well get a MEP ,who's fault is that ?

    Every time I watch a program about politics these days I cant help but see uncorrected spin being broadcast at me, maybe there is too much being spread by the programs guests for the interviewer to correct every bit of it , but it sure frustrates me.

  • Comment number 67.

    Speaker Michael Martin the man who made the BNP electable. Bye bye Michael, Michael bye bye!

  • Comment number 68.

    #65 thecookieducker
    Out of all of the vile far right utterances at least yours has the smack of genuine belief.

    "Evil has always manifested from man. Native Americans, the Abos in Australia, the killing tribes in Rwanda even made Hitlers killing machine appear second rate in comparison"

    I despise everything you have said - in abundance - but at least you are honest when you talk of "Hitlers killing machine ". So he wasn't after all selling ice cream to the Russians at Stalingrad?

    Why are the gutless cowards of the BNP so afraid to say what they are?

    Why do they deny the Holocaust? Say what you believe and why.

    The BNP say Hitler was a peace lover - you are going to try to sell that to a larger intellectual audience and pick up people in positions of power? Please!

    You know what you are and you will be the first to cry out for an improvement in the UK's Victorian sewers.

    But then of course you people are going for the "climate change is a decadent delusion" so we don't need better sewers - but you know thats a five minute idea.

    Temporary and vulnerable - just like Nick Griffin when his rivals want to give him up to those who would and have suffered at the hands of Nazis.


  • Comment number 69.

    #68

    How about answering why you are voting for a political party that believes in bringing in a Proportional Representation System into the UK ?

    Don't you think that will aid small parties like the BNP to get a MP in Westminster ?

    Look forward to your answer.

  • Comment number 70.

    ANARCHISM ACROSS THE POND

    The persistent Attainment Gap and its consequences for welfare/healthcare.

    Consider the effect of mass immigration on these welfare services. As the low-skilled immigrant population rises through its higher birth-rate, and the indigenous, higher skilled population ages, and ultimately shrinks because of its below replacement level fertility, welfare must decline. Immigration (plus mass education at the upper half of the distribution) work to further erode the welfare state whilst increasing the private sector's economic opportunities through expanding the low-skilled consumer base.

    How is it 'good for the economy'? Why do people like thegangofone celebrate turning First World countries into Third World countries and abuse those who try to stop this?

  • Comment number 71.

    Here's one for fervently humanistic 'anti-fascists', and other free-speaking 'Liberal-Democrats' ;-)

  • Comment number 72.

    INTOLERANCE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!

    Don't you just HATE that sort of thing?

  • Comment number 73.

    go1 take a deep breath, clear your head of any irrational thought and read my post again...now do you get it?! its man dear heart..MAN!

    "Out of all of the vile far right utterances at least yours has the smack of genuine belief": GO1

    Er its not a belief its an historical fact. Differnt groups/ races/ cultures kill each other.

    Was not aware that the BNP denied the holocaust. I know the numbers are in question from some historians; 1million-6 million, and some even deny it ever happened, which is just foolish. My belief that the six million murdered only came into doubt when stories that historians were getting jailed for publishing books that questioned the holocaust. I had to remind myself that history is always rewritten.

    Its a shame film was not available when the Europeans butchered the Native indians and stole their lands but we do have rolling 24hr film of the injustices towards the palastinans whose land was taken wholesale because apparently god gave that part of the world to the 'chosen people'

    Now if you want to talk about racism...!Lets start with Israel.

    Go1, your gonna be like the unwanted nat at a camping trip from now on. I must warn you i don't have the patience that jadedjean gives you (nor her high-end academic interlect) but be aware i will shatter your illusions that you hold do dear...do you want that? if so..let the game commence.

    P:S before you tell me that there are BNP members who deny the holocaust,
    there are Labour supporters who believe that Star Trek is real...so don't start from that particular angle.

  • Comment number 74.

    Nos73

    "there are Labour supporters who believe that Star Trek is real"

    No I wont be voting Labour - very disappointed cant get past this at the moment :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJsW6ta4X8o&feature=PlayList&p=88AD49188B26A075&index=0&playnext=1

    Star Trek - I think space travel would be ever so lonely:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbcKO92OGNI

    BTW BBC or should I say *thought control to major tom, dick and harry* I got a phone call on Saturday from some dodgy sounding "consumer person" using the name I gave when I filled in *The Best of British* online form that you are involved in. So much for your *code of conduct* Or maybe the BBC thought controllers have to ascertain whether or not I'm a pervert before they steal a continuity line from me.


  • Comment number 75.

    Addendum (#71) To be fair, the intended act is prima facie, carefully worded to limit applicability:

    "(c) Definitions....

    (1) the term bodily injury has the meaning given such term in section 1365(h)(4) of this title, but does not include solely emotional or psychological harm to the victim"


    But that's how much of our Human/Civil Rights legislation is written. Sadly, somehow, the trickle-down effect means that it rarely stops there. People impute all sorts of intentions - cf. Israel accusing Iran of wanting to 'wipe Israel off the map', and one need not look far even in this blog to see all sorts of irrational imputations being made as to intent. Individuals are often threatened even though legally they stand little chance of being successfully prosecuted. That's how such legislation is abused politically/economically.

  • Comment number 76.

    What price 'respect'?

    Around £130k, it would seem.

    That is the hostage to fortune of our country vs. what I thought was a largely ceremonial but now realise is yet another hugely over-powerful unelected (by us) position: The Speaker of the House.

    This is the amount this petty little man will 'lose' if he stands down now, rather than clinging onto the wreckage that is the credibility of our nation's Parliament to maximise his gilded retirement.

    It is ironic that it all still boils down to money in a grubby individual, public 'servant's' pocket.

    And as the attempts to make it just about him, and his office, continue, and fail to distract the public disgust at the whole rotten system, egged on by too many in the privileged media classes jockeying for position and favour in the new Westminster order, I am also struck by the disconnect of the way this little lot behave vs. the way they have required the rest of us to, often with ever more draconian laws and penalties.

    What private organisation would be allowed to function for so long with rampant bullying? Even Mr. Martin's few supporters, eerily reminiscent of Mr. Brown's, seem to concede that while he can be affable, he has a vile temper and is not to be crossed.

    Our country seems to be suffering from a culture of thugees who got to the top by truly awful behaviour and practices, and in their (inevitable - fear can command power, but respect is the foundation of true leadership) falls are more interested in dragging us all down with them for minor personal gains.

    As I hear of the Tamil Tiger leader fighting to his last youthful acolyte before topping himself in yet another deluded Downfall remake, I wonder how often we are to be cursed by history repeating itself?

  • Comment number 77.

    74 Monsoon that takes me Back, WonderFull

  • Comment number 78.

    NO SCRUPLES

    thecookieducker (#73) "Was not aware that the BNP denied the holocaust. I know the numbers are in question from some historians; 1million-6 million, and some even deny it ever happened, which is just foolish. My belief that the six million murdered only came into doubt when stories that historians were getting jailed for publishing books that questioned the holocaust. I had to remind myself that history is always rewritten."

    Foolish or just confused/misled?

    Apart from deaths due to epidemics (allied bombing of supply lines) and losses of Displaced Persons due to changes in borders after the war, read the article linked in the title, bearing in mind the alleged statistics pertaining to ethnic representation in that part of Eastern Europe/USSR in the 1930s/1940s (it's The Pale of Settlement). If the proportion of Jewish commissars was anything like that alleged here, the German war against Bolshevism (which is indisputable) and the deaths of Jews, may have been (intentionally) confabulated surely? The key propaganda concept here is co-terminous or co-extensive membership of classes, and omission. The target - Western statism/regulation.

  • Comment number 79.

    BUT TONY - REMEMBER TONY? - NEVER BULLIED ANYONE (#76)

    But - oh boy - was his close chum a bully! What's the old saying: "Those who can, bully; those who can't, get a tame psychopath to do it for them?"
    It's how civilisation is served in the 'mother' of parliaments.

    Small wonder that most TV 'entertainment' amounts to bullying. We have a lot more to address in Britain than bankers and politicians. The fault lies in ourselves.

  • Comment number 80.

    79. At 10:09am on 18 May 2009, barriesingleton

    I was actually going to add that our national broadcaster seems to enjoy creating and thriving on the backs of such 'inspirational' person management icons as 'Dragon's Den' or 'The Apprentice', with their positive focus on team spirit and group cooperation to achieve mutually rewarding goals. Not.

    However I must distance myself, at least in part, from your all-inclusive group fault line.

    I despise all these, and have seldom watched them. Though I do confess I did try to enter Dragon's Den a while back with a multi-awarded eco-invention. Sadly they realised that I was more working on an 'any publicity' strategy rather than handing over a great idea to rude egotistis for chump change, especially in the cause of cheap ratings on the vicarious virtual colliseums created by the politico-media establishment to distract the masses with bread and circuses. Or... the cheap satisfaction of others' false hopes dashed and humiliations prolonged.

    It is sad, if ironic, to see at least one party (in the collective sense) now consumed in this way by the very mobs they have co-created. But as self-consumption as the sharks frenzy is a possibility, and maybe others are yet to get their turns?

    Those who the gods would destroy and all...:)

  • Comment number 81.

    'Religious leaders for their part have urged their flocks to turn out in large numbers to vote in the local and European elections on 4 June and to cast their votes against the BNP .

    Churches are urging a high turnout in their parish newsletters. "Please tell congregations ... that it is very important that everyone should turn out to vote to keep the BNP out," says one such message, from a parish church in Battersea, south-west London.' as reported in the Independent.

    Is it the attitude to the Holocaust that upsets people? The Haw Haw appeasers of Hitlers policies? The non-democratic nature of the party? The racism? Is it the feeble intellectual expression, the poetry (oh God the poetry) or perhaps the lack of integrity when describing themselves? Their general personalities?

    Ultimately who cares so long as they don't vote BNP and they fade out of sight - hopefully for ever?

  • Comment number 82.

    #73 cookieducker

    "I must warn you i don't have the patience that jadedjean gives you"

    I despise Jaded_Jean and all like her and I could not give a fig whether you have "patience" or not.

    The more you people post the more people see what you stand for.

    Everybody is happy.

    The "high end" Jaded_Jean has previously stated that Hitler was a peace lover and that her false statistics showed hardly a Jew died at all in the Holocaust and it was disease or Russians.

    You meanwhile say "My belief that the six million murdered.." and the murdered does show you know it was murder.

    If you think there was no Holocaust or no murders then why not go the Djemjanjuk trial and present your evidence? Why has there never been a trial where the historical facts have been challenged? Would Jaded_Jeans statistics stand the remotest scrutiny?

    Get a life cookie.

    Its this lie today from the BNP (not revisionism as they are too inconsistent), a different one tomorrow - but people see through you.

  • Comment number 83.

    thegangofone (#82) "The more you people post the more people see what you stand for."

    That's a relief. From all your non sequiturs, I was beginning to fear that you might congenitally be incapable of paying attention ;-).

  • Comment number 84.

    "Get a life cookie." kinda trite even fot your standards but a standard issue insult all the same. After reading through your post am not sure if its right to mock the afflicted; medals won would be tainted with having won for taking on such a poor adversary whose irrational thought patterns now have the medical title OCD.

    Have you been in a church recently?...bursting it is not. don't pin your hopes on an anti-BNP vote as the supernatural vote ain't looking so great on account Christianity lost its appeal many yrs ago..if i was you i won pin my hopes on the Muslim anti-BNP VOTE. I've seen them on a friday coming out of an old converted church - doubles up as a carpet showroom, i kid you not - and there's loads of them, they may just be your saviour from the potential tyranny that the BNP would bring. Mind you you would have to convert and be obliged to slap your wife from time to time, don't worry about that . think of the greater good and you won't need to pay any interest on any loans you take, though this might upset the Jewish banking sector.

    having been inspired: can i suggest some music to calm you down (i think you need to) Pink Floyd the Wall...and if you can get the Roger Waters version, live in Berlin...BERLIN!!! but watch out for those men in sharp suits and leather boots, there everywhere.

    I cast my line; and the hook ain't even got any bait on it.

  • Comment number 85.

    The Ruth Fox (Hansard Society) position on the speaker is interesting but does seem flawed.

    If the Speaker didn't know about the weakness of the system (thousands of pounds for TVs) he should go because of incompetence and if he did know he should go because he helped foster corruption at the heart of our democracy.

    He was not the only figure involved but he is a central figure and should take responsibility.

    Also there does need to be a comprehensive solution but it needs to be broader than expenses as its self-evident there are no checks and balances to make sure the political process stays in the right track.

    Election fever does look likely to break out as we still have McBride, the Iraq War inquiry and dribs and drabs of information about the economic crisis to surface. Can Labour take the punishment for a year?

  • Comment number 86.

    #84 cookieducker

    Glad to see the fact that you not only acknowledge Nazi murder but understand that the BNP would bring tyranny - "potential tyranny that the BNP would bring" - but its not potential is it as they are not democratic?

    By the way one of your candidates is a priest and Jaded_Jean (the "high end" of the far right) instructed us about the corrupting effects of popular music the other day. Another sure fire vote winner.

    You manage to stress your attitude to other races and religious beliefs and that will surely make sure that those that vote BNP know what they are voting for.

    So tell Griffin - the election broadcast seemed to just concentrate on the BNP not spying on council bins and the fact that they organised children's trips.

    Does the Baby P batterer and child rapist get a vote inside as he admired Hitler - surely he would vote BNP if he could?

  • Comment number 87.

    LISBON'S NUTS?

    "The fullest exposition of the Morgenthau Plan is found in a Treasury Department briefing book dated 9 September 1944, dramatically entitled Program to Prevent Germany from Starting a World War III. The Morgenthau Plan for restructuring German government stressed a permanent dissolution of the modern German state, restructuring it as a loose confederation along pre-1871 lines"

  • Comment number 88.

    The Tories and Liberals are attempting to deflect their own wrongdoings onto the Speaker.

    They claim they are not to blame by blaming the "system". Yet they are the system. They are the ones who were prepared to milk the system.

    The Speaker did not force them under duress to summit such claims. They and they alone submitted such claims. They argue the Speaker must go because their constituents are angry. Yes we are very angry but that anger is directed to the MPs themselves and not the Speaker as one man alone.

    If David Cameron is so "clean", he should publish his expenses for the last nine years and not limit disclosure to the last four. The public may be surprised.

    The MPs should remember the words of André Gide: The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his own deception, who begins to lie with sincerity.

  • Comment number 89.

    GO1: "Does the Baby P batterer and child rapist get a vote inside as he admired Hitler - surely he would vote BNP if he could?"

    Do child rapist and killers who have voted Tory, Labour or the liberials get a vote as well?

  • Comment number 90.

    GO1: "Does the Baby P batterer and child rapist get a vote inside as he admired Hitler - surely he would vote BNP if he could?"

    Contary to what you think, the BNP does not have a monoply on murder or rape. The prison population is made up of all political pursuasions.


    (I've cleaned it up for you mod..!)

  • Comment number 91.

    Does the mod work for 'searchlight'?

  • Comment number 92.

    Having seen The Unloved now, much as it's a fine piece of work, perhaps someone should have clarified with your reviewers that it presumably reflects the care system as it affected Samantha Morton twenty plus years ago. For example, these days it is against regulations for children in a care home - certainly in my authority - to share a bedroom - which was a key plot point in the film. There were other anachronisms, and my one criticism of the film would be that it wasn't clear when it was set and in that respect it could be seen to be unhelpfully inaccurate in evoking anger in the audience - and your reviewers - for problems that have, to some small extent, been addressed since Samantha Morton was in care.

 

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